At the start of 2014, Edge.org posed its annual question to 176 scientific minds: “What Scientific Idea is Ready for Retirement?” The question (as we noted in January) came prefaced by this thought:
Science advances by discovering new things and developing new ideas.
Note: Vonnegut starts talking at around the 3:40 mark.
This is humanism, as explained by biochemist, science fiction author and former president of the American Humanist Association Isaac Asimov:
Humanists believe that human beings produced the progressive advance of human society and also the ills that plague it.
Danko Nikolic, a researcher at the Max-Planck Institute for Brain Research, has come up with a theory called “ideasthesia,” which questions the reality of two philosophical dualities: 1.) the mind and body, and 2.) sense perception and ideas.[...]
If only someone could have invented the internet by 1825. Not only would we have reached unimagined realms of communication by now, but we would have a full 189 years of Christmas lectures to stream online at our leisure.[...]
Since the 19th century, thinkers like Ludwig Feuerbach, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Sigmund Freud have theorized religion as a strictly psychological and anthropological phenomenon born of the tendency of the human mind to project its contents out into the heavens.[...]
The Darwinian theory of evolution is an amazing scientific idea that seems, at least to a layperson like me, to meet all the criteria for what scientists like Ian Glynn praise highly as “elegance”—all of them perhaps except one: Simplicity.[...]
If you don’t understand big history, you’ll never understand small history. That idea hasn’t yet attained aphorism status, but maybe we can get it there. Last month, we featured a free, Bill Gates-funded short course on 13.8 billion years of “Big History”.[...]
During the same week when House Republicans passed a bill forbidding scientists from advising the EPA on its own research, NASA climate scientists (coincidentally but maybe inconveniently) released a video documenting A Year in the Life of Earth’s CO2.[...]
I once spent a summer as a security guard at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. A wonderful place to visit, but my workday experience proved dreadfully dull.[...]